For New York Times haters

For all you New York Times haters out there, the current issue of the New Yorker magazine has a flaming critique of Arthur "Pinch" Sultzberger.

The whole article is available here, but for those who can't wait, these paragraphs sum it up:

THE INHERITANCE
Can Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., save the Times—and himself?
by KEN AULETTA

...Sulzberger can be just as passionate about journalism and the Times, the newspaper that his family has controlled since 1896. But there his “infectious enthusiasm” sometimes strikes people as immature or sarcastic. Although he occupies perhaps the most august position in the nation’s press establishment, he seems to lack the weighty seriousness of his predecessors, among them Adolph Ochs, the paper’s founder; Orvil Dryfoos; and his father, Arthur (Punch) Sulzberger. This was evident on the afternoon of September 29th, when the Times reporter Judith Miller was released from a Virginia jail, after being held for eighty-five days because she had refused to name a source. Sulzberger and the paper’s executive editor, Bill Keller, waited outside the prison to greet her, but federal marshals wanted Miller to leave in handcuffs and shackles. Suspecting that photographers were waiting, Miller protested; instead, the marshals put her in the back seat of an S.U.V. with tinted windows. The S.U.V. was trailed by Miller’s lawyer, Robert Bennett, in one car and Sulzberger and Keller in a second car. When the marshals stopped to let Miller out, Sulzberger told his driver to pull up alongside the S.U.V. He jumped out and, unable to see through the dark glass, excitedly tapped at the back window. “Judy!” he said. “Judy! It’s me!”

“Get away from the vehicle, sir!” a marshal said, according to Miller.

Bennett, a veteran of many of Washington’s largest legal battles, was surprised. “I said to myself, ‘It sure seems odd for the publisher of the New York Times! ’ ”

The article goes on to demonstrate how finances rather than foolishness is The Times' biggest threat:

...These newsroom crises have come when the Times can least afford them—during a period of technological and economic uncertainty that has affected the entire industry. The Times’ stock price fell 33.2 per cent between December 31, 2004, and October 31, 2005—sixty per cent more than the industry average, according to Merrill Lynch newspaper analysts. The operating profit of the Times Company has also slipped in each of the past three years. Owing to the cost of fuel, newsprint, and employee benefits, expenditures are increasing by between four and five per cent a year and revenues by only about three per cent, a senior Times corporate executive says; this person is worried that “it’s just a matter of time until we start losing money.” 

...But financial pressures on newsroom managers have probably never been so fierce. The Times Company has cut budgets, including seven hundred jobs at its various properties this year. Forty-five jobs were lost in the Times newsroom alone, although Keller says that it is now “the same size as five years ago.” But, while the Times, he says, has been treated more “gently” than others, including the Boston Globe, his editorial team is “looking hard” at how to do more for less—“in anticipation that the trend will continue.” At the same time, he worries that “we’re down to muscle.” 

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